China Bans Animal Trade Amidst Wuhan Virus Outbreak
CHINA BANS ANIMAL TRADE – Following the virus outbreak that started in Wuhan, China has banned the trade of wild animals temporarily.
Based on a report from Washington post, the trade is only banned until the epidemic has been eliminated across the country. However, experts said the country is paying for its lax laws on wildlife trade.
About 17 years ago, China was hit with one of the biggest epidemics of the 21st century, the SARS outbreak. The virus could easily spread to humans in markets where several live wildlife species are kept.
As per the report, the new restrictions ban the transport and sale of wild animals, specifically barring markets, supermarkets, restaurants, and e-commerce platforms from trading in any form.
Following this, China had also pledged to step up its initiatives on the wildlife ban. They gave a hotline for the public to report illegal wildlife trade and said that violators would receive severe violations in accordance with the law.
Consumers should fully understand the health risks of eating wild animals, stay away from ‘game’ and eat healthily
However, the new regulations would be in place only during the epidemic. This raised questions whether or not China would re-allow the wildlife trade to come back after.
According to Christian Walzer, chief global veterinarian at the Wildlife Conservation Society, the measure was an “important step”. But, he emphasized that the ban needed to be permanent.
The pattern will keep repeating itself until we ban, not only in China, but in other countries, the sale of wildlife, specifically for food and in food marketsChristian Walzer
In addition, Peter Knights, a founder of WildAid said that this outbreak could’ve been avoided if the wildlife trade ban was permanent after SARS. Following this, he said:
They harvested this evil fruit, making a whole city, a whole country, and even the entire human race pay such a heavy price; and the worst is yet to come
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